Kelly J Gill


He wasn't always so self-assured and adventurous. It's been a tough and rewarding journey for Kelly J Gill whose original sound is now cascading through the airwaves as his new country single ‘Another 26oz Illusion’ rockets up the charts.

Kelly J Gill brings an exquisite sensitivity to his music, creating an authentic sound that simultaneously honors and breaks the traditional rules of songwriting. It is an approach that is earning this artist out of Nashville much acclaim lately and has propelled his debut radio single ‘Another 26oz Illusion’ to the top of the charts. One critic recently went so far as to comment: ‘A lively succession of country cuts rendered in various styles and tempos suitable to the genre aggregate to one of the most listenable albums we've auditioned in a long time - anchored by Gill's eminently suitable vocal character.’ Reporter Lauren Scott recently caught up with Kelly J Gill to learn more about this intriguing artist, his artistic inspirations and plans for the future.

LAUREN: As an artist on the rise, what is one thing you are most excited about and one thing you are most afraid of happening in your career?
KELLY J GILL: The one thing I’m most excited about is having my music heard around the world! The one thing I’m most afraid of is not being able to have my music heard because of financial restraints.

LAUREN: Your song ’Another 26oz Illusion’ is receiving a positive listener response on radio. What was your initial reaction when you first heard your song playing on radio?
KELLY J GILL: Exaltation and a sense of accomplishment after all the years of hard work!

LAUREN: What was the inspiration behind your debut radio single?
KELLY J GILL: After writing ballads and serious story songs I wanted to write something fun! After observing the somewhat deleterious affects of alcohol consumption in my friends…(and maybe personally) I came up with a fun redneck story about wives and booze!

LAUREN: It is often said that great art arises from difficult experience. Is there something in your life experience thus far that you would describe as the ‘catalyst’ or ‘fuel’ for your desire to create music?
KELLY J GILL: I’m a workaholic and can’t seem to relax. At one point in my life I owned and ran 4 different businesses and was stressed beyond belief. One business was a cattle ranch and while feeding cattle one day I incurred a serious back injury. While waiting for surgery (which took 5 years) I became quite despondent and turned to my music. My music has always been my escape from life’s stress and at that point my writing kicked into high gear!

LAUREN: How would you characterize yourself as an artist/musician? (Ex. Down-to-earth, serious, fun-loving, complicated…)
KELLY J GILL: My foremost opinion of being a artist/musician is that you have to have fun doing it. If music ceases to be fun it’s time to hang it up. That’s not to say that you can’t make down to earth serious music, but you still have to enjoy it. I guess you could say that I’m a fun loving artist/musician that is capable of creating a variety of styles of music!


LAUREN: What has your experience been like working with the other people on your team?
KELLY J GILL: My band has been very supportive and dedicated in the years we’ve been together. I’ve relied on them as sounding boards for different songs I’ve written and I use their extensive experience every time we get together! We have a great time every time we rehearse or perform live! My producer at the time I recorded in Nashville was extremely knowledgeable and supportive as well. She suggested different ways to approach some songs that I would not have even imagined and the result was astounding. The studio musicians were extremely talented, great to work with and were also extremely supportive as well. My interaction with the Academia thus far has been informative, helpful and has opened doors that otherwise may not have been opened.

LAUREN: Did you come from a musical background? Are there other musicians in your family?
KELLY J GILL: My parents were musical to a point. My mother played the accordion while my father played harmonica. They played to pass the time and for fun, never pursuing any further musical endeavors. My one sister had a great singing voice but again never nurtured it into any professional career moves.

LAUREN: What do you find most rewarding about being an artist? What do you find most challenging?
KELLY J GILL: I find that making people happy and forgetting for a few hours the troubles of their daily lives most rewarding. If I can bring out those happy emotions then I can say that I was successful that night. The most challenging aspect of being a musician is being taken seriously enough to earn a living doing it. There are so many road blocks put up financially that there are beautifully talented musicians you will never hear. One of the hardest and saddest things is to have to have a multitude of occupations to finance your music. I say that because at the end of the day when you’re exhausted from work, it’s almost impossible to give your best performance or be creative musically. The days of being told that you’ll be hired to give you exposure while playing a venue should be over.

LAUREN: Who are your role models in music?
KELLY J GILL: I would have to say present and past, Vince Gill, Trace Adkins, Ricky Van Shelton, Alan Jackson, George Strait, Johnny Cash and Don Williams.

LAUREN: Describe your best or most memorable performance.
KELLY J GILL: I would have to say that one of the most memorable performances was in a small town which a cattle organization was putting on. There were people from all over the community from miles around attending. As the night wore on the festivities became more animated as one cowboy in particular jumped up on a table and proceeded to crack a whip thinking he was driving a stagecoach! You don’t see that everyday!! By the end of the night we had the whole crowd singing the rowdy tunes and crying to the sad ones. After the show we were inundated with people wanting autograph...definitely a great night!!

LAUREN: What advice would you give to young, aspiring artists out there who are unsure and need guidance?
KELLY J GILL: Never give up on your dream! Once you do you’ll regret it the rest of your life! It may be a hard road but the rewards are worth it! Nothing can compare to the feeling you get when you get a night where you give your best and connect with the crowd! I gave all my kids a piece of advice when they were old enough to go out in the world. I told them there is nothing in this world you can’t do if you want to do it. There are opportunities everywhere so don’t let people tell you that you’ll never be able to accomplish what you set out to do. It’s your choice to follow your dream not someone else’s dream!

LAUREN: What's next for you as an artist? Is there a new single in the works? If so, what can you tell us about it?
KELLY J GILL: Right now I’m concentrating on performing more out on the road. I do however have the start of a new album project on the back burner that I’ve been working on.

LAUREN: I look forward to hearing your new work! Thank you for letting us get to know you better as a musician and I wish you the best of luck and continued success.

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